Just like in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, there’s a huge rivalry between the Russian and US men’s hockey teams. In 1980, while the Cold War was still going on, the American team defeated the Russian team for the gold medal. Our team was basically a group of young unknown kids who loved the game and played their hearts out as we cheered them on, and we all felt like proud Americans when they captured the gold.
Olympic hockey is a lot different these days. Teams are made up mostly of professional players from the NHL and other leagues from around the world whose names are very familiar to us…some playing for the US, others playing for their home countries. Sure the games are exciting for hockey fans, but to someone like me, who is really not a hockey fan, but a patriotic American, it just isn’t the same.
To me, watching a bunch of professional, wealthy athletes playing each other just doesn’t convey the spirit of the Olympics, which should be young, amateur athletes playing for their countries.